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'Twas the Week Before Finals: Learning Support Services

LSS logoThe Library is a busy place, but during finals Falvey Memorial Library becomes even more of a hub for studying students. In Learning Support Services (located in the Learning Commons), we are keen observers of student study habits. As the campus population prepares for final exams, we want to share our top Do’s and Don’ts:

Do get enough sleep.

Even though Falvey Library’s 24-hour lounge is available, pulling an all-nighter is rarely a good idea. If you are too tired to think, you probably will not do well on your exam. Try using our end of semester calendar (found on our website) to plan out your prep so you don’t leave it all until the night before the big exam.

Don’t let distractions get the best of you.

Without the structure of regular class sessions leading up to and during finals week, it is easy to get swept up in a variety of tempting distractions. Netflix binge? Sure! A day lounging on Sheehan Beach? Why not?! Have fun, but strike a good balance between studying and free time.

Do find a study buddy.

Speaking of distractions, working in pairs or groups can be beneficial as long as you don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate. Even if you prefer to study alone, consider teaming up with a friend while prepping for exams or working on that term paper. By choosing to study in the same place at the same time, you can support each other in achieving your goals.

Try pausing every hour to either quiz each other on material or read aloud sections from your essays. Have trouble resisting your phone or the pull of social media? If you are working at the same library table, trade phones with your study buddy for brief periods of time and agree to not answer them. That way, you know your phone is within reach, but you are not tempted to look at it every two minutes.

Don’t forget to test yourself.

The way students study is just as important as the time they devote to test prep.  If you are not seeing as much success as you would like on your exams, there is a good chance you need to inject more self-testing into your study plan. Sites like Quizlet and Study Stack can be helpful. Notecards or two-column notes are old standbys. Practice tests and questions from the back of the chapter can also do the trick. The bottom line is: simply looking over your notes is not going to be as effective as self-testing.

We welcome the throngs of students who are about to come join us in the Learning Commons, and we wish you all luck on your final exams and papers! For additional learning strategies and stress management tips, check out the LSS website.

Article by Nicole Subik, learning specialist, Learning Support Services


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Last Modified: April 30, 2014